Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

The Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, formerly the King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, was a merit award for flying service awarded by the United Kingdom between 1942 and 1994.

Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
Obverse of the civilian badge
Awarded by the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth
TypeDecoration for meritorious service
EligibilityBoth service personnel and civilians
Awarded forService while flying
StatusDiscontinued in 1994
DescriptionPin back badge / Ribbon device
Statistics
Established1942
Total awardedCirca 3,000
Mentioned in Dispatches emblem

Bronze oak leaf device of military recipients

Criteria

The King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air was first awarded in 1942 to reward both meritorious and gallant service while flying, not in the face of an enemy, that did not reach the standard required for the Air Force Cross or the Air Force Medal.[1] It could be awarded to both members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces and to civilians. It was renamed the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1952, following the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.[2] It was awarded until 1994 when replaced by the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.[3]

Appearance

Service personnel wear a bronze oak leaf device on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, in the same way as those mentioned in dispatches. A smaller version of the oak leaf is attached to the ribbon when worn alone. Where no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn directly on the coat after any medal ribbons. A recipient of both a King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air and a mention in dispatches can wear two oak leaves on one ribbon.[1]

In 1945 a special badge was introduced for civilian recipients. Designed by Percy Metcalfe, and approved by King George VI in September 1945,[4] it is silver and consists of two raised wings creating an oval, surmounted by a crown and the words FOR VALUABLE SERVICE. It measures 1.1 inches (28 mm) in height and 0.7 inches (18 mm) wide.[5] It is worn on the coat immediately below any medals or medal ribbons or, in civil airline uniform, on the panel of the left breast pocket. If a recipient has no medals, the badge is worn in the position in which a single ribbon would be worn.[6] The reverse is plain, except for the attachment pin and, in some cases, a registration number.

Although renamed the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1952,[7] this did not lead to a change of design.

All recipients also received a certificate, signed by the appropriate government minister.[4]

Recipients

Approximately 3,000 Commendations for Valuable Service in the Air were awarded, including to service personnel and civilians.[8] Among the recipients were a number of civilian, RAF and RN test pilots who received the award in recognition of extraordinary flying during extreme conditions.

  • Anne Burns: aeronautical engineer, who took part in many test flights as a scientific observer, became the only woman to receive two Commendations for Valuable Service in the Air, in 1954[12] and 1962.[13]
  • Captain Eric Moody who on 24 June 1982 inadvertently flew a British Airways Flight into a cloud of volcanic ash resulting in the failure of all four engines. After gliding the aircraft out of the ash cloud, Moody was able to restart the engines and land the aircraft safely at Jakarta Airport.[16]
  • First Officer Alastair Stuart Atchison and cabin crew members Susan Gibbins and Nigel Ogden who averted the crash of British Airways flight 5390 on 10 June 1990.[17]

King's and Queen's Commendation awards

This table summarises the various King's and Queen's Commendations awarded by the United Kingdom:

Period For Bravery For Bravery (Air) For valuable service For valuable service (Air)
1939 - 1952[6] King's Commendation for
Brave Conduct
King’s Commendation for
Valuable Service in the Air
1952 - 1994[7] Queen's Commendation for
Brave Conduct
Queen’s Commendation for
Valuable Service in the Air
From 1994[18] Queen's Commendation for
Bravery
Queen's Commendation for
Bravery in the Air
Queen's Commendation for
Valuable Service

References

  1. ^ a b Peter Duckers. British Gallantry Awards 1855 – 2000. pp. 56. Published by Shire Publications, Oxford, 2010.ISBN 978-0-7478-0516-8.
  2. ^ Change to "Queen's Commendation" not announced in London Gazette, but used from "London Gazette: 30 May 1952 Supplement: 39554 Page:2950".
  3. ^ "London Gazette: 12 August 1994 Issue:53760 Page:11527".
  4. ^ a b P E Abbott & J M A Tamplin. British Gallantry Awards. 1981. pp. 303-304. Published by Nimrod Dix & Co, London, 1981.ISBN 0-902633-74-0
  5. ^ King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, Imperial War Museum collections.
  6. ^ a b "London Gazette: 24 July 1951 Supplement: 39294 Page:4035".
  7. ^ a b "London Gazette: 14 January 1958 Supplement: 41285 Page:365".
  8. ^ No complete figures have been published. British Gallantry Awards by Abbott & Tamplin, page 304, show numbers awarded for selected years, indicating an average of circa 60 a year over the 52 years of the award.
  9. ^ "London Gazette: 31 December 1948 Supplement: 38493 Page:32".
  10. ^ Guinness World Records. "First landing on an aircraft carrier". Guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  11. ^ Luke Jones (14 November 2014). "Eric 'Winkle' Brown: The man who seemed not to notice danger". BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  12. ^ "London Gazette: 31 December 1954 Issue:40366 Page:34".
  13. ^ "London Gazette: 28 December 1962 Issue:42870 Page:31".
  14. ^ Laker crew honoured, Flight International, 26 February 1970, p. 291
  15. ^ "No. 45042". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 February 1970. p. 1958..
  16. ^ "No. 49375". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1983. p. 28.
  17. ^ "No. 52767". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1991. p. 27.Ogden's name was erroneously missed from published supplement.
  18. ^ "Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility". Ministry of Defence Medal Office. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
1954 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1954 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1953 and the beginning of 1954, and were announced on 1 January 1954.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1959 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1959 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1958 and the beginning of 1959, and were announced on 1 January 1959.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1960 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1960 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1959 and the beginning of 1960, and were announced on 1 January 1960.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1962 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1962 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1961 and the beginning of 1962, and were announced on 1 January 1962.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1963 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1963 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1962 and the beginning of 1963, and were announced on 1 January 1963.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1964 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1964 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1963 and the beginning of 1964, and were announced on 1 January 1964.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1965 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1965 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1964 and the beginning of 1965, and were announced on 1 January 1965.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1967 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1967 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1966 and the beginning of 1967, and were announced on 1 January 1967.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1968 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1968 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1967 and the beginning of 1968, and were announced on 1 January 1968.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1970 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1970 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1969 and the beginning of 1970, and were announced on 1 January 1970.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1971 New Year Honours (New Zealand)

The 1971 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1970 and the beginning of 1971, and were announced on 1 January 1971.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour.

1977 Silver Jubilee and Queen's Birthday Honours (Australia)

The 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours for Australia were appointments to recognise and reward good works by citizens of Australia and other nations that contribute to Australia to celebrate Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee and birthday. The Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours were announced on 14 June 1977 in Australia.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour with grades and then divisions i.e. Civil, Diplomatic and Military as appropriate.

Arthur Button

Air Vice Marshal Arthur Daniel Button (26 May 1916 – 27 May 1991) was a Royal Air Force officer.

He was educated at Ilford County High School and University College, Southampton (later the University of Southampton; BSc Hons (Lond.)).

He joined the RAF Educational Service in 1938. He married Eira Waterhouse in 1944. He was on general duties, 1941-6; his pilot experience during this time was mainly for instructional purposes. In 1946 he received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, and returned to the RAF Education Branch. He was a senior maths instructor until 1949, followed by other varied duties such as armament staff officer at HQ RAF Bomber Command. He rose to become Director of the RAF Educational Services 1972-6.

After his retirement, he was director of the Association of Recognised English Language Schools (ARELS) Examinations Trust, 1976–86. He was a member of the council of the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association, 1980-9 and the Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund, 1983–1991. He was Honorary President, ARELS-FELCO (Federation of English Language Course Organisations), from 1990 and a governor of the Duke of Kent School, 1981-6.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1959 and a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1976.

Barry Gration

Air Marshal Ian Barrington "Barry" Gration (born 30 June 1936) is a former senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), whose career culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Air Staff from 1992 to 1994.

Commendation

Commendation ceremony was a formal ceremony that evolved during the Early Medieval period to create a bond between a lord and his fighting man.

Commendation may also refer to:

the placing of an ecclesiastical benefice in commendam

Ulmus 'Morton Stalwart' Commendation, a Morton Arboretum hybrid cultivar

Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation, a Canadian award given to military units

Commendation Medal, a mid-level United States military decoration

Commendation for Gallantry, a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Australian Defence Force

Meritorious Team Commendation, a unit award of the United States Coast Guard

Meritorious Unit Commendation, a mid-level unit award of the United States Armed Forces

Navy Unit Commendation, a United States Navy unit awardOfficial Commendation awards of the United Kingdom consist of:

King's and Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, awarded 1939-1994

King's and Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, awarded 1942-1994

Queen's Commendation for Bravery, awarded since 1994

Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air, awarded since 1994

Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service, awarded since 1994

New Zealand Bravery Medal

The New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM) is the fourth level civil decoration of New Zealand.

It was instituted by Royal Warrant on 20 September 1999 as part of the move to replace British bravery awards with an indigenous New Zealand Bravery system. The medal, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "acts of bravery". The medal is primarily a civilian award, but it is also awarded to members of the armed forces who perform acts of bravery in non-operational circumstances (given that the New Zealand gallantry awards may only be awarded "while involved in war and warlike operational service (including peacekeeping)".Bars are awarded to the NZBM in recognition of the performance of further acts of bravery meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters "NZBM".

The medal replaced the award of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in respect of acts of bravery in, or meriting recognition by, New Zealand.

New Zealand Gallantry Medal

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) is the fourth level military decoration of the New Zealand armed forces.

It was instituted by Royal Warrant on 20 September 1999 as part of the new indigenous New Zealand Gallantry system. The medal, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of 'acts of gallantry' while involved in war and warlike operational service (including peacekeeping).

Bars are awarded to the NZGM in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters NZGM.

This medal replaced the award of the Mention in Despatches, the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, and Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.

Queen's Commendation for Bravery

The Queen's Commendation for Bravery and the Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air are United Kingdom awards, open to both military personnel and civilians. They were established in 1994, when the award of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air were discontinued.

Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service

The Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service is a British military award for meritorious service in an operational theatre. It was established in 1994, when the award of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air were discontinued.

Orders
Current
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Obsolete
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Royal family
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